Satan is active in this world because he wants to bring about as much destruction as he can in the time that he has. He knows his time is limited. He doesn't know how much time he has.
But because he knows his time is running out, he never sleeps. He's constantly on the prowl and for thousands of years, ever since he first succeeded in the Garden of Eden till today, some 6,000 years later, he has been mastering his schemes and his devices as he attempts to hunt down humanity. Although as Christians we are eternally secure in the Lord, the enemy, Satan, is on the hunt to devour us. He and his minions have studied humanity since Adam and Eve.
They've studied you. They've learned your strengths and your weaknesses and have designed attacks that are custom made to trip you up, steal your joy, and doubt your security in Jesus. Today on Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen Davey continues his lesson on Satan to help you be better prepared to withstand his attacks.
This is the conclusion to a message he began yesterday called, What Lions Want for Lunch. Secondly, notice here that Peter refers to him as the devil. Your adversary, the devil prowls around.
The name devil from Diabolos means accuser. In fact, the verb form can be translated to press charges. He's the accuser. Again, you get in your mind this picture, don't you, of a legal opponent.
You capture the nuance of a legal environment where the enemy spends most of his time pressing false charges. He is revealing evidence about you and me and we do give him evidence only. And he makes these charges against God and he makes charges to us about God. The apostle Paul writes that the devil is the accuser. John, the apostle in Revelation 12 says that he is accusing the brethren before God day and night. So he's spending more time in the presence of God than he is in your presence. In fact, it won't be until the mid part of the tribulation, as I've mentioned, that he is cast down from having access before God. And what's he doing? He's accusing you to God and then every so often will come down or through his minions, he will accuse God to us.
Some of those accusations sound like maybe you've heard them. God is against you. Look at what you're suffering today. God isn't all powerful. Look at what's happening in the world today.
Have you been reading the news? God is absent. He's left us on our own. Christian, you're not growing spiritually. In fact, it's probably proof that you're not even really saved. You think that you've been forgiven just like that. Don't you think God has a payback?
He's deserving of one. Shouldn't you do something? What assurance do you have of heaven? Look at your track record. What's your track record been this week, by the way? How many of you in here would admit by raising your hand that this past week you sinned? Raise your hand. Yes, sir. What did you do? I'm teething.
I knew it was big. His wife's raising both of his hands. This skillful opponent makes false charges, true charges. In fact, listen, apart from the promises of God's word and the truth of our redemption through Christ alone, he has the goods on us all. Nobody can close an argument like the devil. You and I are no match for the devil. We don't go around bragging and binding and casting him down.
Even Michael dared not bring an accusation. He says, I'll leave you to the Lord. A lot of false teaching today.
It's nothing but hot air. He is a skillful opponent and is matched only by our advocate. He is an incredibly skilled, double-crossing, mud-slinging, fault-finding, nit-picking, belittling, vilifying, tattletale. There is only one and it is in him we go who is our advocate, our sure defense for who can bring a charge against any of God's elect. Romans chapter 8 verse 33. For God is the one who justifies, declares us righteous, robes us in the righteousness of Christ. God has then, by the atoning work of God the Son, wiped your criminal record clean, past, present, and future.
The answer to this skillful adversary at law is our advocate at law. Little children, John writes, if anyone sins, and he writes in a condition that means end and we will. If any of my little children, referring to believers, sins and you will, we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ, the righteous Satan then is a good and great accuser, but Jesus is your great defender. Satan knows everything about you up to this point and he knows more about you than you would ever imagine. He sees how many times you blink. He can read every expression on your face, every word uttered through your eyes.
But Jesus is our great defender. He has forgiven everything about us for all of eternity. Satan can bring things to the attention of God and he does. He says, do you know what he just did, what he just said?
He only loves you because of this or that. And it may be, and Jesus stands there to say, I've taken care of that sin problem for good. And Satan, by the way, knows, he's read through the end of the book. He's a great theologian.
He is the devil still, as Luther said, but he is a great theologian. He knows. It's one of the reasons he hates you so much. He knows your end as well. He will want you to limp to heaven, but he knows you're going to heaven.
You're secure in the Father's hand. You're going to live where he once lived and where he can no longer live. And he hates you for that. And he hates God for giving it to you as a free gift, which is amazing.
I mean, think about it this way. It might be a little bit too, you know, contemporary language, but you're going to get all his stuff. You're going to get all his stuff. You ever have an older brother or sister get upset with you because you went into their room, you know, their bedroom, and you started rummaging through their stuff? And they came to you. I had that happen to me and my older brother. I was rummaging through his record collection.
Those round things made out of plastic. But I was rummaging through there, and he came in and beat red. He said, get out of my room and leave my stuff alone. I just said, get behind me, Satan. I quoted scripture.
Quoting scripture is sometimes fun. Can you imagine the level of anger and bitterness and the intensity of hatred and revulsion and contempt and spite that Satan has against us in knowing that we puny little human beings are going to inherit everything he lost? He wanted his own throne, and we're going to be given one. He wanted the glory of heaven, and we're going to live there.
No wonder we have become enemy number one on earth. All right then, enough of that. This is who you are to him and who he is to you. Now then, let's look at what he does. Let me put the remainder of verse 8 into the form of two descriptions. Description number one, he roams the earth like a lion. Notice your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. He roams the earth like a lion. He's prowling around.
He's roaming the earth. Job chapter 1 shows us that incredible conversation between Satan and God, the Father. And God says to Satan, where have you been?
And he's not saying that because he doesn't know. Somehow Satan slipped off his radar. He's saying that to get Satan to admit where he's been. And Satan says, from roaming about on the earth. Same expression Peter uses.
From roaming about on the earth, from walking around to and fro. What a chilling observation. Later in the conversation, God essentially makes Satan admit, yeah, you're walking around, but you are focusing on, you are studying Job. And he admits it. And he says, yes, I have been and you've blessed him mightily and the only reason he loves you is because you've given him all that. And the conversation continues. Job obviously has no idea that Satan has been watching him.
Might I suggest the dilation of his pupils and the rate of his heartbeat, his reactions, the volumes spoken in his eyes. And he believes he's found the chink in his armor. Peter uses the same observation. It hasn't changed from Job to you.
It hasn't changed at all. In fact, he uses the present tense here in this phrase to inform us that the devil never stops roaming around the earth. He just persistently prowls around. The idea of roaming indicates, one author said, his restless energy. He's restless in his search for someone to participate in his rebellion against God.
He's always recruiting. He knows his time is limited. He doesn't know how much time he has, but he's read to the end of the book. He knows what's going to happen. That's why when Jesus comes along, the demons say, hey, have you come to torment us before our time? They know they're going to be tormented.
It's now the time. He knows his time is limited. He doesn't know how much time he has, but because he knows his time is running out, he never sleeps. He's not a human.
He doesn't need rest or food or sleep. He's constantly on the prowl, and for thousands of years, ever since he first succeeded in the Garden of Eden till today, 6,000 years later, he has been mastering his schemes and his devices as he attempts to hunt down humanity. Peter drops in this interesting simile, this word picture.
It's rather chilling. Notice, he's not just prowling around. He's prowling around like a roaring lion. Since the next phrase tells us he's looking for someone to devour, we assume that he's roaring because he's hungry. Lions don't roar because they're hungry, and they don't roar when they hunt because they're hungry. We might miss the implications of this word picture by not understanding why lions roar, so let's get that right, and then we'll apply correctly this. I did a little digging on your behalf, found out that lions roar for two basic reasons. First, they roar to tell other lions in their pride, in their family, so to speak, where they are. They're communicating with one another by roaring or huffing or grunting.
It's a system of communication. Secondly, they roar to let everybody know that this is their territory. And of a torn male who's roaring out that fact I have read, their roar can be heard five miles away. And the louder they roar, the bigger they must be, and the stronger they must be, and they should be feared more.
So don't invade their territory. They're basically roaring to say, this is my place, don't come mess it up. A lion roars for the purpose of communication and intimidation.
That's what Peter has in mind. Satan is like a roaring lion. That is, he's communicating with members of his family, those fallen demons, the fallen world system, and the unbeliever. There is a communication, indirect, direct, silent, unheard, by human ears, yet very active, and they all know his voice and they follow him, just like we know the voice of our good shepherd and we follow him. Satan also roars, intimidating everybody around.
He's bigger and badder than anybody else. This is my territory. This earth is mine, and he has delegated authority. He's essentially saying, don't mess with me.
This is my place. In fact, he hasn't stopped bragging, by the way, and boasting about himself since Isaiah 14, which recorded that he was boasting, he was roaring out this fact that he was bigger and stronger than God himself, you can imagine. And he isn't going to stop his bragging and his boasting until one day he's incarcerated forever in hell. You might want to study this a little further on your own, but if you look at a lion and make the application back to the devil, it's interesting to me that lions attack the weak and the suffering. So also, Satan does the same.
He is a creature that kicks you when you are down. Lions attack newborn, just as the enemy of our soul attacks newborn Christians. Lions attack an animal that's wandered away and is in isolation from the flock or herd. So also, who does Satan seem to go after?
Those who have isolated themselves from the assembly, from other believers. Lions attack the unprepared and the unsuspecting. You probably watch the Animal Channel planner or whatever it is, too, and there's that gazelle out there just minding his own business, thinking everything's great, has no idea that cat is quietly slipping up to catch that animal unprepared. So also, Satan stalks his prey. He takes every advantage of the unprepared. He studies us. He takes advantage of our personalities, those strengths and weaknesses.
He takes advantage of our age, our station in life, our sorrows, our physical and mental condition, our spiritual maturity, our understanding of Scripture, and he uses it all to custom design his bait. And he baits his hook, and he drops it in the pond of our lives, and then he waits. And he watches.
And he studies. He listens to our heart rate. He listens to our eyes. He probably knows what our blood pressure is.
He sees it rising. And for what purpose does he study us? Peter tells us plainly, Notice your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He not only roams around like a lion, secondly, he seeks for someone to ruin. Again, the verb for seeking is the present tense, which means it never stops. He's involved in a persistent, ongoing, never-ending search.
His desire is to ruin another person's life, to intimidate and blind and keep the unbeliever, to intimidate and distract and discourage and discredit the believer. Peter pictures it here with one verb, to devour. You could render that to gulp down or to drink down. Same word used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. When the whale swallowed Jonah, same verb, gulped him down.
It's a chilling thought. My research on these very large cats, the lion weighs on average 420 pounds. They can eat up to 100 pounds of meat in one sitting.
They grow to a height of four feet at their shoulders. In other words, most of us in this auditorium, if we were to meet a full-grown male lion, we would be looking square in his face. And many of us in this auditorium, he would be looking down at you. The Colosseum has not been filled with lions yet. Peter's not thinking of them, but he's seen them. We don't know when and how, but enough to make this observation. And he's telling us there's a sense here we need to understand that we're small and Christ is great.
Our opposer is skillful and we are weak, but our advocate is brilliant. A couple of weeks ago, Marsha and I went to one of our favorite zoos in Northern Virginia. We like this particular zoo. It's not like the big ones you go to where you pay and then the animals hide from you.
This is where you can see them up close. And at one point, she walked down the hill or up the hill to see a baby giraffe. I think it was. And I walked over to the enclosure of this massive Bengal tiger. It was only about 10 feet away from me, lying on the grass underneath a tree, separating this Bengal tiger from me was this thin chain link fence. It was tall, I checked it out, but it was thin. And I just stood there. I was the only person there.
Kind of a quiet place. Just watching this amazing creature, clear eyes, whitish-orange stripes, massive paws. And then it turned its head, massive head, and looked at me and just stared at me. And I wondered if it knew, if it had heard me on the radio, and what I think about cats. I used to think that was funny, standing right there, man, I wouldn't find it.
This thing is huge. Peter pulls that animal out and says, our enemy is like that. Who do you think you are? And that sends you running to Christ. We cannot imagine the intimidating presence or personhood of this chief enemy of God in the church and the believer. I mean, he has lost us to Christ forever. None of us could ever slip or be pulled out of or taken out of the Father's hand, John 10, 29. The devil knows that, but the devil will do all he can now to strike back at God and strike at us by attempting to coerce us to bring stain to our lives and to spoil our witness.
Think about it, think about it, beloved. Every time we sin, we essentially yield to this wicked lion. Every time we sin, we conspire together with him to disobey and defy God. We switch sides when we sin. And he mocks us to God. And he mocks God to us. So confess quickly. You don't confess your sin as a believer for the sake of sonship. That's settled, but for fellowship, he wants to cut that off.
That cuts off fruitfulness and worship and service and joy and assurance. He wants to muzzle all of that. So muzzle him by confessing quickly. We all admitted that our track record says, hey, we all sinned this past week.
We all did. Have we confessed that? Have we even entered in here to attempt to worship him with sin unconfessed? Maybe a sin in your life you're cherishing in your mind and in your heart, and you think no one knows. Let me tell you, yes, God knows you knew that, but Satan knows as well. The devil knows that.
He's read it in your eyes. Confess quickly. Deal with sin in your life as ruthlessly as Satan wants to deal with you. But don't back down. Depend upon and even rejoice in the strength of your Savior.
I want to wrap it up, but let me say this. Satan can roar. Satan can roar, and he can roar loudly. But it will never shake the throne upon which Jesus sits. It will never unsettle him. And you are in him.
You cannot be unseated. That was Stephen Davey and a message he called What Lions Want for Lunch. When we come back next time, Stephen will continue along this theme with a message called Dealing with the Devil. I hope you'll be with us for that. Between now and then, you can learn more about us if you've enjoyed this video. And if you haven't already, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 00:32:14 / 2023-03-15 00:41:40 / 9